Dear family, friends and prayer partners of Little Ray McCarthy,
It is with a heavy heart and many thanks that we reach out to you on behalf of our whole family. Your support and love over these past many years has filled our home with love and well-wishes that have had a deeper impact than we can express.
Raymond Anthony McCarthy, Jr., “Little Ray,” age 10, of High Bridge, NJ passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family and friends, on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Ray, a High Bridge Elementary School student who was born on May 5, 2008 at Hunterdon Medical Center, lived his short life to the fullest and brought so much happiness and laughter to all those who knew and loved him.
“Ray” was the absolutely perfect name to be bestowed upon our little buddy because he was like a brilliant ray of sunshine, bursting into and lighting up a room with his enthusiasm, energy, and fast-talking chatter. He always was so excited to share a story, perform a magic trick, or express his opinions bluntly and with vigor. No one could ignore his dynamic presence, whether hearing him ask a barrage of questions, tell a joke, or simply recount his day. And, no one will ever forget his wide smile and charming ways.
A Star Wars and Harry Potter aficionado, Ray loved watching movies, especially when they were set up in the backyard for viewing, and hosting themed parties at his home or at Schooley’s Mountain Park. Visiting Walt Disney World, the North Carolina beaches, and his family locally and in Texas and Ohio also made the top of his list for favorite pastimes. A true outdoorsy kid, he loved playing in the treehouse and running around outside with his brother, as well as fossil hunting, fishing, and participating in all of the fun Cub Scout activities (especially the Pinewood Derby) with High Bridge Troop 149. Additionally, his passions included attending car races, watching the Food Network, reading cookbooks, cooking, playing baseball, performing Jiu Jitsu, and just hanging out in his family room. Despite all the medical issues he valiantly faced in his young life, he truly savored the little joys, such as eating his beloved “basagne” (lasagne) in NYC after his hospital visits.
Ray is survived by his parents, Amanda (nee Clark) and Raymond Anthony McCarthy, Sr., and his younger brother, Liam, of High Bridge, NJ; his maternal grandmother, Sharon Wilson, of High Bridge, NJ; his paternal grandfather, Raymond L. McCarthy, of Mt. Olive, NJ; his uncles, aunts, and their children: Brian and Emelynn Joanne McCarthy and their son, Patrick, of Sparta, NJ; Amy Mifflin of Houston, TX; April and Gregg Guay and their daughter, Taylor, of Eaton, OH; Daniel and Karen Clark and their daughters, Amy and Nichole, of Dallas, TX; Angela and Steve Mark of Bonner Springs, KS; and many other loving relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his paternal grandmother, Patricia McCarthy, and his maternal grandfather, Jerry Wilson.
A Celebration of Ray’s Life will include a visitation on Thursday, November 15, 2018, from 4pm to 8pm, at St. Luke Parish, 265 West Mill Road, Long Valley, NJ. An 11am funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, November 16 at St. Luke Parish. A private interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover, NJ. William J. Leber Funeral Home in Chester, NJ is in charge of all arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Luke Parish for the creation of a memorial at a later date in Ray’s memory. Please make checks payable to St. Luke Parish - memo: Little Ray Fund, and mail to St. Luke Parish, c/o Raymond McCarthy Memorial, 265 West Mill Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853.
For online condolences and information visit www.leberfuneralhome.com.
We are two years in and still fighting...
Please look for further information to come shortly about our fundraising event as we kick-off our renewed fundraising goal to continue to off-set expenses.
A Taste of the Towns: A Fundraiser for "Little" Ray
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 @ 6:30pm
Hosted at St. Luke Church, Long Valley, NJ 07853
Suddenly and without warning, Little Ray McCarthy
, our spunky and adventurous six-year-old Star Wars enthusiast, finds himself battling an alien creature called Glioma. Glioma isn’t an imaginary character in a fictional galaxy on a movie screen. Unfortunately, it is a very real and very devastating brain stem tumor, medically known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
According to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital website:
"DIPG is a type of tumor that starts in the brain stem, the part of the brain just above the back of the neck and connected to the spine. The brain stem controls breathing, heart rate and the nerves and muscles that helps us see, hear, walk, talk and eat. These tumors are called gliomas because they grow from glial cells, a type of supportive cell in the brain.
DIPG falls into the Glioma staging system, so they can be classified according to the four stages below based on how the cells look under the microscope. The grades are from the least severe to the most severe.
• Low Grade: Grade I or II means that the tumor cells are the closest to normal.
• High Grade: Grade III or IV means that these are the most aggressive tumors.
The main issue with DIPG is that most of these tumors are not classified by grade because surgery to obtain tissue by biopsy or to remove the tumor is not safe because of the location of the tumor. When these tumors are biopsied, they are usually grade III or grade IV tumors, which tend to behave very aggressively. Most of the tumors are diagnosed by their appearance on MRI."
More information about DIPG, including treatments and symptoms, can be accessed at: http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=b86c061585f70110VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD
Since the initial realization by his wonderful teachers at High Bridge Elementary School of an eye twitch and the subsequent diagnosis of his brain tumor, Little Ray’s parents, Ray and Amanda, have been valiantly and tirelessly helping their son fight this epic battle by performing research, conversing with noted neuro-oncologists at leading medical centers across the nation, reviewing clinical studies, while at the same time providing him with all of the love, warmth, and normalcy in this world.
We are praying for him, as well as reaching out to our communities, religious and local, for your support and prayers.
On Friday, March 13, 2015, Little Ray was hospitalized at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. On Wednesday, March 18, Little Ray and family traveled to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for an evaluation. On this gofundme website, we’ll update you on his progress, further evaluations, and future encouragements. So, please check back often.
In the meantime, this wonderful family, including younger brother Liam, need not fight this battle alone. That’s why we are asking you to become a "Jedi warrior" for Little Ray by praying, sharing his story (please consider reposting via social media to help us get the word out), and donating whatever amount, no matter how big or small, to this account to help defray expenses related to his medical care.
Please become a part of the Little Ray Empire and strike back at Glioma today!
Prayer Partners:Our Lady of the Mountain, Long Valley St. Luke Parish, Long Valley St. Mark the Evangelist, Long Valley St. Lawrence the Martyr, Chester
Stanhope United Methodist
1st Presbyterian Church of Iselin